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School Committee Takes A Final Look At The Budget, Approves Athletic Fee Raise

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Here’s our four part overview from the Jan. 12, 2015 Westford School Committee meeting.

You can see the full meeting video at westfordcat.org 

School Committee Member David Keele on Jan. 15, 2015
School Committee Member David Keele on Jan. 15, 2015

New School Resource Officer at Westford Academy

During the beginning of the meeting, a variety of topics were discussed, most notably a new police officer stationed at Westford Academy.

The officer came on suddenly in early January, but is becoming well-liked by students.

School Committee Takes One Last Look At Upcoming Budget: Part 1

The board heard from Courtney Moran, the department’s special education coordinator, as part of the last hearing they will have on the Fiscal Year 2015 school budget.

Fee Increase Approved For Student Athletes

Due to rising costs on a variety of expenses, the minimum fee for student-athletes at Westford Academy or Westford’s two public middle schools is now $275 per sport for most sports, barring financial hardship.

A potential cap of $1,000 per family was discussed, however the cap was put on hold for a year to see if it will be needed following the jump from a $225 minimum fee.

School Committee Takes One Last Look At Upcoming Budget: Part 2

There was talk of transferring money from areas where full-funding might not be needed to areas that have been underfunded, such as the maintenance budget.

In particular, the shift would include money from funding put forward for the education of students who are expelled or facing long-term suspensions, a new requirement for Massachusettts schools.

However, some members of the board felt that money not spent should be given back to the taxpayers rather than allocated to other areas to preserve trust with the public and that the budget proposed by the superintendent and supported by others in town was fair and met student needs.